Ever wonder what exciting new projects the many employees at NARA are working on? The “What are You Working On?” blog feature aims to introduce a variety of NARA employees and highlight some of the exciting projects we are working on around the agency. Check for this blog series on Wednesdays!
This week, we introduce Rick Blondo, Management and Program Analyst. Rick began his archival career in 1982 first with the Maryland State Archives and since 1990 with NARA where he currently serves as NARA’s compliance manager pertaining to Federal Records Storage Facility Standards.
What is your name and title?
Rick Blondo, Management and Program Analyst (but I remain an archivist at heart).
Where is your job located?
The National Archives at College Park, MD.
What is your job in a nutshell?
I am NARA’s compliance manager pertaining to the 36 CFR 1234 Federal Records Storage Facility Standards. I communicate with Federal records officers, contracting officials, vendors, NARA colleagues, and other interested parties in all matters relating to the storage standards. This includes promoting awareness of the standards NARA has issued to ensure Federal records “live” for as long as they need to (according to records retention schedules), focusing attention on how Federal agencies are obliged to comply with the standards, giving agencies the information necessary to fulfill their responsibilities pertaining to the standards, and managing facility compliance inspections. I am supported in my job by a colleague who files and maintains the documentation pertaining to, or provided by, some 200 Federal agencies or subentities, my supervisor who is the deciding official on matters concerning the standards, colleagues with the technical expertise necessary to conduct facility inspections, and a cadre of NARA regional staff who work with Federal agencies on records management matters.
What are you working on right now?
I’m finishing up the effort, conducted every ten years, whereby NARA contacts all the Federal agencies to determine where their records are being stored and whether or not those storage facilities comply with the standards. Federal records are governed by records retention schedules that stipulate whether or not a record is “permanent” or “temporary” (i.e., if that record will be transferred to NARA to become part of the National Archives of the United States or if that record is to be destroyed at some point). If records are improperly stored, resulting in their loss before transfer to NARA or their premature destruction, that results in the unavailability of a record necessary to document history, the business and actions of Government, and the rights and entitlements of individuals.
How long have you been at NARA? Have you worked at any other NARA location?
I began my NARA service in 1990 and have worked both in College Park, MD and Washington, DC. In previous NARA capacities, I served as an appraisal archivist assisting Federal records officers (1990 – 1991), an education specialist creating document-based curriculum materials and presenting workshops for teachers (1991 to 1993), a consultant archivist for new researchers when Archives II opened (1993 to 1999), a member of the National Archives Building Renovation Team (1999 to 2006), an Archives Specialist (2006 to 2007), and Special Assistant to the Archivist of the United States for part of 2007.
I began my archival career in 1982 with the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, where I was a reference archivist, Publications Director, Student Internship Director, and Education Outreach Director.
Prior to my archival career, I was a church school classroom teacher teaching Bible, World History, and Wood Shop for grades 7 through 10. I received my B.A. degree in Religion, with minors in History and Behavioral Science from Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN. I earned M.A. and M.L.S. graduate degrees (History and Library Science) from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Do you have a favorite day at NARA, or a favorite discovery or accomplishment?
I have two favorite accomplishments, one which takes place every day and the other that took place over the course of 6 years. The everyday accomplishment is helping people by providing the information they need. The other was my involvement as part of the management team that conducted the renovation of the historic National Archives Building in Washington, DC.
What are your passions or interests outside of work?
I have been active in youth ministry at church for more than 30 years. I enjoy travels to new places, reading, and spending time with family, friends, and my pet cats and dog.
What is the last book you read, or the last book you loved?
Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews.
Meet more NARA employees: http://www.archives.gov/careers/employees/